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Boorda, Jeremy Michael (28 November 1938–16 May 1996), admiral and chief of naval operations, was born in South Bend, Indiana, on 26 November 1938, the son of Herman Boorda, a clothing merchant, and Gertrude Frank Wallis Boorda. At the age of sixteen he dropped out of high school and enlisted in the navy after lying about his age. Thereafter he took readily to discipline and was assigned to the Naval Air Technical School in Norman, Oklahoma. In March 1957 he married Bettie Ray Moran; they had four children....

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Burke, Arleigh (19 October 1901–01 January 1996), admiral and chief of naval operations, was born Arleigh Albert Burke in Boulder, Colorado, the son of Oscar A. Burke and Claire Mokler Burke, farmers. After being educated at numerous preparatory schools, Burke gained admittance to the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, in 1919. He graduated four years later, 71st in a class of 413. On his graduation day in 1923 he married Roberta Gorsuch; they had no children. Over the next two decades Burke fulfilled routine naval service duties ashore and at sea; in 1931 he received a master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan. Following a two-year tour with the navy's bureau of ordnance in 1937, he became executive officer of the destroyer ...

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Dewey, George (26 December 1837–16 January 1917), naval officer, was born in Montpelier, Vermont, the son of Julius Yemans Dewey, a prominent physician and insurance company president, and Mary Perrin. His mother died when Dewey was just five years old. After study at Norwich University, Dewey entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1854. The rambunctious plebe accumulated 113 demerits during his first year at the academy, but he graduated in 1858, fifth in his class of fifteen. After a cruise in the Mediterranean on the new frigate ...

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Engen, Donald Davenport (28 May 1924–13 July 1999), naval officer, test pilot, public servant, was born in Pomona, California, the son of Sydney M. Engen, a stockbroker and later an Internal Revenue Service employee, and Dorothy Davenport Engen. Engen spent his childhood years in southern California, principally in Pasadena. When he was in fourth grade, he decided that he wanted to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and become a naval officer....

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Evans, Robley Dunglison (18 August 1846–03 January 1912), rear admiral, was born in Floyd County, Virginia, the son of Samuel Andrew Jackson Evans, a country physician, and Sally Ann Jackson. At age eleven, following his father’s death, Evans moved to Washington, D.C., to live with his uncle. There he attended public schools and developed an interest in the sea. At age thirteen Evans moved to Utah to establish residence in that state and from there gained an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, which he entered on 20 September 1860. Resisting family pressure to join the Confederacy at the outbreak of the Civil War, Evans continued his studies and graduated with the class of 1864, whose graduation was accelerated to 1863 to meet the exigencies of the war. At age seventeen he was commissioned acting ensign....

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Halsey, William Frederick, Jr. (30 October 1882–16 August 1959), naval officer, was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the son of William Frederick Halsey, an officer in the U.S. Navy, and Anne Masters Brewster. Always intending to follow in his father’s footsteps, Halsey, after a year at the University of Virginia, secured a place at the U.S. Naval Academy. He ranked forty-third of sixty-two graduates in 1904....

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Hancock, Joy Bright (04 May 1898–20 August 1986), U.S. Navy officer, was born Joy Bright in Wildwood, New Jersey, the daughter of William Henry Bright, a banker, and Priscilla Buck. After attending high school in Wildwood, she entered the Pierce School of Business Administration in Philadelphia; in 1918 she enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. As a yeoman first class, she served as a clerk and then chief yeoman at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation yards located in Camden, New Jersey, later transferring to the U.S. Naval Air Station at Cape May, New Jersey. After the end of World War I she worked at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, New Jersey, and the Department of the Navy in Washington....

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Hobson, Richmond Pearson (17 August 1870–16 March 1937), naval officer and congressman, was born in Greensboro, Alabama, the son of James Marcellus Hobson, a lawyer, and Sarah Croom Pearson. He received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in May 1885. The youngest member of his class, he was put “in Coventry” (ostracism via the silent treatment) by his classmates for placing some of them on report and spent the balance of his second- and all of his first-class years under the ban. Never lower than third academically, he graduated in 1889 first in his class. The ostracism was to cast a long shadow on the active naval career of one who, in his own words, “ ...

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Hopper, Grace Brewster Murray (09 December 1906–01 January 1992), naval officer and pioneer developer of computer languages, was born in New York City, the daughter of Walter Fletcher Murray and Mary Campbell Van Horne. Her grandfathers were important in shaping her future—one was a navy admiral, and the other an engineer with New York City. After attending Hardridge School in Plainfield, New Jersey, she graduated in 1928 with election to Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College, with a degree in mathematics and physics. She completed a mathematics M.A. in 1930 at Yale and earned a Ph.D. in mathematics and mathematical physics, also from Yale, in 1934....

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King, Ernest Joseph (23 November 1878–25 June 1956), naval officer, was born in Lorain, Ohio, the son of James Clydesdale King, a railroad shop foreman, and Elizabeth Keam. King earned an appointment through competitive examination to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1897. After brief duty on the cruiser ...

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Kirk, Alan Goodrich (30 October 1888–15 October 1963), naval officer, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of William Thomson Kirk, a wholesale grocer, and Harriet Goodrich. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1909, served in the Asiatic Fleet, and during the First World War was an ordnance specialist at the Naval Proving Ground in Dahlgren, Virginia. He married Lydia Selden Chapin, daughter of a in 1918; the couple had three children. During the 1920s he was executive officer of the presidential yacht ...

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Leahy, William Daniel (06 May 1875–20 July 1959), naval officer, was born in Hampton, Iowa, the son of Michael Arthur Leahy, a lawyer and local politician, and Rose Hamilton. In 1882 the Leahy family moved to Wisconsin, where William lived until he received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1893. He married Louise Tennent Harrington in 1904; they had one son, who became a naval officer of flag rank....

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Mahan, Alfred Thayer (27 September 1840–01 December 1914), naval officer and author, was born in West Point, New York, the son of Dennis Hart Mahan, a professor of military engineering and dean of faculty at the U.S. Military Academy, and Mary Helena Okill. Raised in a household run on two guiding principles, strict military obedience and a stern literalist and fundamentalist form of Episcopalianism that emphasized constant prayer, Mahan did not have a happy childhood. In his autobiography, ...

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Meade, Richard Worsam, III (09 October 1837–04 May 1897), naval officer, was born in New York City, the son of Richard Worsam Meade II (1807–1870), a and Clara Forsythe Meigs. After attending the College of the Holy Cross and Mount St. Mary’s College, Meade entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1850. Graduating fifth in his class in 1856, he was promoted to passed midshipman that year. Commissioned lieutenant (1858), he served aboard the ...

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Melville, George Wallace (10 January 1841–18 March 1912), naval engineer, was born in New York City, the son of Alexander Melville, a chemist, and Sarah Wallace. He graduated from Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute and joined the U.S. Navy as a third assistant engineer in July 1861. He saw much hazardous duty during the Civil War, some of it through his own choosing. He volunteered to go aboard the Confederate ship ...

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Moffett, William Adger (31 October 1869–04 April 1933), U.S. Navy rear admiral, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of George Hall Moffett, a partner in one of the city’s mercantile firms, and Elizabeth Simonton. The young Moffett graduated from the High School of Charleston and entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1886. Plagued by health problems, he graduated near the bottom of his class in 1890 and two years later received his commission as ensign. From 1893 to 1895 he toured European waters and the Mediterranean in the cruiser ...

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Rodman, Hugh (06 January 1859–07 June 1940), naval officer, was born in Frankfort, Kentucky, the son of Hugh Rodman, a physician, and Susan Ann Barbour. The Rodmans were of the local slaveowning elite. Nothing is known of his early education. Probably more interested in fun than in matters intellectual, Rodman finished second from the bottom of sixty-one graduates in the class of 1880 at the naval academy at Annapolis. Like his contemporaries, Rodman moved up slowly, from midshipman in 1882 to lieutenant in 1897. His early sea duty included cruising on the gunboat ...

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Sampson, William Thomas (09 February 1840–06 May 1902), naval officer, was born in Palmyra, New York, the son of James Sampson, a day laborer, and Hannah Walker. An excellent student, Sampson did not have the means to attend college but in 1857 received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy from Congressman Edwin Barbour Morgan. Sampson ranked first in his class for three consecutive years and graduated in 1861. As a passed midshipman he was assigned to duty at the Washington Navy Yard, after which he reported to the sloop ...

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Sicard, Montgomery (30 September 1836–14 September 1900), naval officer, was born in New York City, the son of Steven Sicard, a merchant, and Lydia Hunt. His mother was the sister of U.S. Supreme Court justice Ward Hunt. Steven Sicard died in 1840, and the family moved to Lydia Sicard’s home town of Utica, New York. Montgomery entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1851 and graduated with the class of 1855....

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Sigsbee, Charles Dwight (16 January 1845–19 July 1923), naval officer, was born in Albany, New York, the son of Nicholas Sigsbee and Agnes Orr. Although his family history did not include any naval service, Sigsbee sought admittance to the U.S. Naval Academy. With the help of ...